Larrie Gallery (New York) is pleased to present, Crazy? Did you say crazy? I was crazy once., a solo exhibition of new work by Brooklyn-based artist Sara Rabin running July 30 through September 10, 2017. Rabin is both an impulsive sketcher and an exacting draughtsman. In a series of narrative drawings drafted on skinny strips of receipt paper, two teddy bears and a pony-tail-wearing doll move through a series of bawdy and uncomfortable vignettes. In these intimately scaled drawings, she employs pen, pencil, and brush in the service of a social critique that straddles a scathing and tongue-in-cheek line.
Rabin captures a specific urban malaise that evokes Otto Dix’s nihilist German Expressionist sketches, the celebrity portraits lining the walls at Sardi’s in New York’s Midtown, and the staccato aphorisms of Raymond Pettibon. In Ridgewood Block Party (2017), a group of park-goers play a grim game of cards, while in You’ll Be Dead Soon Anyway (2015), a saggy-boobed marm opines, “SWEETHEART, I’M COLD.” Her figures are all elbows and sharp-toothed smiles built from pointed edges and razor-sharp lines.
In her depictions of dolls and girls, Rabin smears and dislocates the feminine body, calling to mind the debauched social mores and fragmented figures found in Ida Applebroog drawings. In her painting Face Swap (2017), a fleshy white face is stretched beyond the canvas edge — a blue eye smears into a cobalt stain and a pastel pink tongue takes on the quality of pulled taffy. The effect is simultaneously cartoonish and gruesome, self-reflective and guarded. The body is subject to an exacting eye and a steady hand.